Norway launched two satellites from Kazakhstan late last week, to monitor shipping traffic, illegal fishing and oil spills. The first signals were already being registered during the weekend.
The two satellites NORSAT-1 and NORSAT-2 are the first of 70 small satellites being released from a Sojusbærerakett, launched from the Russian base in Bajkonur in Kazakhstan. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that a total of 72 satellites were shot up from the same rocket.
They’re Norway’s third and fourth national satellites, both of them experimental and aimed at testing technology and conducting research. “So far it’s all been a success,” Jon Harr, senior adviser and project leader at the Norwegian Space Center, told Aftenposten.
The satellites cost around NOK 22 million each plus the costs of “hitchhiking” with the rocket. Several Norwegian state agencies including the national emergency service plus the military and Coast Guard will use data from the satellites to aid surveillance of Norwegian waters. NORSAT-1 was financed by the Norwegian Space Center, while NORSAT-2 was financed by the Coast Guard.